Threat Assessment

Arlington Public Schools is committed to providing a safe and secure environment at all facilities.  The well-being of our students, families, employees, and visitors is also a priority.  With that being said the Commonwealth of Virginia requires that each school division have a threat assessment team at each school or one at the division level.  Arlington Public Schools has chosen to create a central threat assessment team representative of school based administrators and instructors, human resources, safety, security, risk and emergency management professionals, behavior and mental health professionals, and law enforcement.  The focus of the team is to provide an assessment and intervention with students and employees whose behavior may pose a threat to the safety of school staff or students consistent with the Department of Criminal Justice Services model guidelines.

Threat Assessment

Threat assessment is an approach to violence prevention that focuses on behavior and communication of threats and other forms of conflict before escalation.  A problem solving methodology is used to evaluate the risk of violence posed by someone and an individual intervention is developed to resolve the issues that exist and may have caused the concerning behavior or communication.

Threat Assessment Process

  1. Identifying and Reporting Threats
    Students, families, employees and visitors who identify a threat are to report the behavior to a school based administrator (e.g., principal or assistant principal), division administrator (e.g., emergency manager, human resources, etc…), or a school resource officer.
  2. Initial Review and Conversation
    After the threat has been identified the school administrator or division administrator will conduct an initial conversation with the individual if there is no concern that the individual is an imminent harm to others.
  3. Threat Assessment Review
    Two members of the threat assessment team will review the initial report of concerning behavior and determine whether the entire threat assessment team shall meet on the report using the division’s threat assessment guidelines.
  4. Threat Assessment Monitoring/Intervention
    If the threat assessment review determines that the threat is easily and readily resolved the report is referred back to the school/department. If the threat assessment review determines that the resolution of the report is more involved and requires further review the entire team will review the case and any records associated with resolution as needed.

Training

Arlington Public Schools has partnered with the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia’s Youth Violence Project to provide free threat assessment training for students and parents.  Threat assessment is a national standard for school safety programs that help students, families, employees and visitors understand the threat assessment process, and to provide guidance regarding recognition of threatening or aberrant behavior that may represent a threat to the community, school or self.  Participating in the program is completely anonymous and voluntary.

This training program is designed for all students ages 12 and up and parents of all students in Arlington Public Schools.  We encourage parents to be available to discuss questions your student may have after viewing the program.  The 15-minute program is a way to learn about the threat assessment process Arlington Public Schools will use and how it can prevent violence.  When logging into the training program you will be asked to identify your school, but not yourself.

The Youth Violence Project of the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, is provided in collaboration with the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Virginia Department of Education.  It is supported by Grant #NIJ 2014-CK-BX-004 awarded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.  Dr. Dewey Cornell is the project’s principal investigator and Dr. Jennifer Maeng is the project director.  Inquiries into the project can be directed to jlc7d@virginia.edu.

Parent Training Program

The parent program can be access through website:

www.schoolthreatassessment.com

Access Code:  pcbwba

Student Training Program

The parent program can be access through website

www.schoolthreatassessment.com

Access Code:  seqgek

Threat Assessment Team

Do you have questions about threat assessment?  Please feel free to email the Threat Assessment Team Lead at zachary.pope@apsva.us.

Please report any school safety issues, such as threats, dangerous rumors, drug use, theft, harassment, gang activities, weapons in a facility, and vandalism to a school administrator or school resource officer.  Anonymous reporting options are available via an anonymous reporting form located here.

Resources

Initial Assessment
Procedures
Emergency Procedures Manual